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this I discern to be not so much a light and humourous envy at my accesses to her majesty, which of her majesty's grace being begun in my first years, I would be sorry she should estrange in my last years; for so I account them, reckoning by health not by age, as a deep malice to your honourable self; upon whom, by me, through nearness, they think to make some aspersion. But as I know no remedy against libels and lies; so I hope it shall make no manner of disseverance of your honourable good conceits and affection towards me; which is the think I confess to fear. For as for any violence to be offered to me, wherewith my friends tell me, to no small terror, that I am threatened, I thank God I have the privy coat of a good conscience; and have a good while since put off any fearful care of life, or the accidents of life. So desiring to be preserved in your good opinion, I remain.
This last letter seems to be wrote 1600, in the interval between the return of the earl of Essex from Ireland, and his hearing before the lord Chancellor, etc.
LV. To my Lord HENRY Howard.
THERE be very few besides yourself, to whom I would perform this respect. For I contemn mendacia fama, as it walks among inferiors; though I neglect it not, as it may have entrance into some ears. For your lordship's love, rooted upon good opinion, I esteem it highly, because I have tasted the fruits of it; and we both have tasted of the best waters, in my account, to knit minds together. There is shaped a tale in London's forge, that beateth apace at this time, that I should deliver opinion to the queen in my lord of Essex' cause: first, that it was a præmunire; and now last, that it was high treason; and this opinion to be in opposition and encounter of the lord chief justice's opinion, and the attorney-general's. My lord, I thank God; my wit serveth me not to deliver any opinion to the queen, which my stomach serveth me not to maintain; one and the same conscience of duty guiding
me and fortifying me. But the untruth of this fable God and my sovereign can witness, and there I leave it; knowing no more remedy against lies, than others do against libels. The root, no question of it, is partly some light-headed envy at my accesses to her majesty; which being begun and continued since my childhood, as long as her majesty shall think me worthy of them, I scorn those that shall think the contrary and another reason is the aspersion of this tale, and the envy thereof, upon some greater man, in regard of my nearness. And therefore, my lord, I pray you answer for me, to any person that you think worthy of your own reply, and my defence. For my lord of Essex, I am not servile to him, having regard to my superior's duty. I have been much bound unto him. And on the other side, I have spent more time and more thoughts about his well doing, than ever I did about mine own. I pray God, you his friends, amongst you, be in the right. Nulla remedia tam faciunt dolorem, quam quæ sunt salutaria. For my part, I have deserved better, than to have my name objected to envy, or my life to a ruffian's violence. But I have the privy coat of a good conscience. I am sure these courses and bruits hurt my lord more than all. So having written to your lordship, I desire exceedingly to be preferred in your good opinion and love and so leave you to God's goodness.
3 December 1599.
LVI. Two LETTERS, framed,
The one as from Mr. Anthony Bacon to the Earl Rawley's of ESSEX; the other, as the earl's answer thereunto.
Both written by Mr. Francis Bacon, at the instance of Mr. Anthony Bacon his brother, and to be shewed to the queen, upon some fit occasion; as a mean to work her majesty to receive the earl again to favour and attendance at court. They were devised whilst my lord remained prisoner in his own house. See Sir Francis Bacon's Apology, to the earl of Devonshire.
My singular good Lord,
THIS standing at a stay in your lordship's fortunes doth make me, in my love towards your lordship,
jealous lest you do somewhat, or omit somewhat, that amounteth to a new error. For I suppose that of all former matters there is a full expiation; wherein, for any thing that your lordship doth, I for my part, who am remote, cannot cast nor devise wherein any error should be, except in one point, which I dare not censure nor dissuade; which is, that as the prophet saith, in this affliction you look up ad manum percutientem, and so make your peace with God. And yet I have heard it noted, that my lord of Leicester, who could never get to be taken for a saint, nevertheless in the queen's disfavour waxed seeming religious: which may be thought by some, and used by others, as a case resembling yours, if men do not see, or will not see the difference between your two dispositions. But to be plain with your lordship, my fear rather is, because I hear how some of your good and wise friends, not unpractised in the court, and supposing themselves not to be unseen in that deep and inscrutable centre of the court, which is her majesty's mind, do not only toll the bell, but even ring out peals, as if your fortune were dead and buried, and as if there were no possibility of recovering her majesty's favour; and as if the best of your condition were to live a private and retired life, out of want, out of peril, and out of manifest disgrace; and so in this persuasion of theirs include a persuasion to your lordship to frame and accommodate your actions and mind to that end: I fear, I say, that this untimely despair may in time bring forth a just despair, by causing your lordship to slacken and break off your wise, loyal, and seasonable endeavours and industry for redintegration_to her majesty's favour; in comparison whereof all other circumstances are but as atomi, or rather as a vacuum, without any substance at all. Against this opinion it may please your lordship to consider of these reasons which I have collected, and to make judgment of them, neither out of the melancholy of your present fortune, nor out of the infusion of that which cometh to you by others' relation, which is subject to much tincture, but er rebus ipsis, out of the nature of the persons and actions themselves, as the trustiest
and least deceiving grounds of opinion. For though I am so unfortunate as to be a stranger to her majesty's eye, and much more to her nature and manners; yet by that which is apparent, I do manifestly discern, that she hath that character of the divine nature and goodness, quos amavit, amavit usque ad finem: and where she hath a creature, she doth not deface nor defeat it; insomuch as, if I observe rightly in those persons whom heretofore she hath honoured with her special favour, she hath covered and remitted not only defects and ingratitudes in affection, but errors in state and service. Secondly, if I can spell and scholar-like put together the parts of her majesty's proceedings now towards your lordship, I cannot but make this construction, that her majesty in her royal intention never purposed to call your lordship's doings into public question; but only to have used a cloud without a shower, in censuring them by some temporary restraint only of liberty, and debarring from her presence. For, first, the handling the cause in the Star Chamber, you not being called, was enforced by the violence of libelling and rumours, wherein the queen thought to have satisfied the world, and yet spared your lordship's appearance; and after, when that means which was intended for the quenching of malicious bruits, turned to kindle them, because it was said your lordship was condemned unheard, and your lordship's sister wrote that piquant letter, then her majesty saw plainly, that these winds of rumours could not be commanded down without a handling of the cause, by making you a party, and admitting your defence. And to this purpose I do assure your lordship, that my brother Francis Bacon, who is too wise, I think, to be abused, and too honest to abuse; though he be more reserved in all particulars than is needful, yet in generality he hath ever constantly and with asseveration affirmed to me, that both those days, that of the Star Chamber, and that at my lord keeper's, were won from the queen merely upon necessity and point of honour, against her own inclination. Thirdly, in the last proceeding, I note three points, which are
directly significant, that her majesty did expressly Irrecupe- forbear any point which was *irreparable, or might Table, Cab. make your lordship in any degree uncapable of the return of her favour; or might fix any character indelible of disgrace upon you: for she spared the public place of the Star Chamber, which spared ignominy; she limited the charge precisely not to touch upon any pretence of disloyalty; and no record remaineth to memory of the charge or sentence. Fourthly, the very distinction which was made in the sentence of sequestration from the places of service in the state, and leaving to your lordship the place of master of the horse, doth, to my understanding, indicativè, point at this; that her majesty meant to use your lordship's attendance in court, while the exercises of the other places stood suspended. Fifthly, I have heard, and your lordship knoweth better than I, that now, since you were in your own custody, her majesty in verbo regio, and by his mouth, to whom she committeth her royal grants and decrees, hath assured your lordship she will forbid, and not suffer, your ruin. Sixthly, as I have heard her majesty to be a prince of that magnanimity, that she will spare the service of the ablest subject or peer, when she shall be thought to stand in need of it: so she is of that policy, as she will not lose the service of a meaner than your lordship, where it shall depend merely upon her choice and will. Seventhly, I hold it for a principle, that generally those diseases are hardest to cure whereof the cause is obscure; and those easiest, whereof the cause is manifest; whereupon I conclude, that since it hath been your error in your courses towards her majesty, which hath prejudiced you, that your reforming and conformity will restore you; so as you may be faber fortuna propria. Lastly, considering your lordship is removed from dealing in causes of state, and left only to a place of attendance; methinks the ambition of any man, who can endure no partners in state matters, may be so quenched, as they should not laboriously oppose themselves to your being in court: so as upon the whole matter, I can find neither in her majesty's person, nor in your